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Original article in aAPNews.com, feb 13, 2021

By SAMY MAGDY

CAIRO (AP) — American and Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed what could be the oldest known beer factory at one of the most prominent archaeological sites of ancient Egypt, a top antiquities official said Saturday.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the factory was found in Abydos, an ancient burial ground located in the desert west of the Nile River, over 450 kilometers (280 miles) south of Cairo.

He said the factory apparently dates back to the region of King Narmer, who is widely known for his unification of ancient Egypt at the beginning of the First Dynastic Period (3150 B.C.- 2613 B.C.).

Archaeologists found eight huge units — each is 20 meters (about 65 feet) long and 2.5 meters (about 8 feet) wide. Each unit includes some 40 pottery basins in two rows, which had been used to heat up a mixture of grains and water to produce beer, Waziri said.

The joint mission is co-chaired by Dr. Matthew Adams of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and Deborah Vischak, assistant professor of ancient Egyptian art history and archaeology at Princeton University.

Adams said the factory was apparently built in this area to provide royal rituals with beer, given that archaeologists found evidences showing the use of beer in sacrificial rites of ancient Egyptians.

British archaeologists were the first to mention the existence of that factory early 1900s, but they couldn’t determine its location, the antiquities ministry said.

With its vast cemeteries and temples from the earliest times of ancient Egypt, Abydos was known for monuments honoring Osiris, ancient Egypt’s god of underworld and the deity responsible for judging souls in the afterlife.

The necropolis had been used in every period of early Egyptian history, from the prehistoric age to Roman times.

Egypt has announced dozens of ancient discoveries in the past couple of years, in the hope of attracting more tourists.

The tourism industry has been reeling from the political turmoil following the 2011 popular uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The sector was also dealt a further blow last year by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Archaeology.org
Source: Proof Positive   

Baking bread, ancient Egypt

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CNN.com

Israeli scientists have brewed beer from a 5,000-year-old strain of yeast — and apparently it tastes pretty fruity.
The University of Jerusalem’s Ronen Hazan and Yuval Gadot had the idea to reactivate the yeast, which was recovered from clay pots found at the nearby Tell es Safi/Gath archaeological site.
The site is believed to be the ancient city of Gath, home to the Philistine people.
It’s said to be the hometown of the giant Goliath, who — according to the Bible — was defeated in battle by the boy David.
Says Hazan, “I thought, wow, that’s kind of a miracle that the yeast survived thousands of years in these pots. Amazing.”
The beer took eight weeks to ferment, which is fairly speedy considering the yeast has been prepped for millennia.
One taste-tester described the beer as “really interesting” and “fruity like nut and bananas.” Another claimed that it was “tasty” and “unique” and “going down like oil.”
Not everyone was a fan, though. One person who tried the ancient beer concluded, “It tastes like burned bread.”
Yeast can impart 500 different flavors and aromas to beers and is very good at surviving the ages.
Some researchers say ancient Egyptians began brewing beer as early as 5,500 BCE.
But it was also being brewed in Mesopotamia, now Western Asia, where people may have used straws to drink it.
The team from the University of Jerusalem are currently in talks to find investors who might be interested in commercializing this beer from the time of Philistines and Pharaohs.

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